New Home Sales Fell In February

WASHINGTON — Sales of new U.S. homes slipped 0.6 percent in February, the third straight monthly decline.

The Commerce Department says last month’s sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618,000, down from 622,000 in January and 653,000 in December.

Despite the monthly setbacks, new-home sales are running 2.2 percent higher year-to-date in a sign that solid buyer demand still exists. Homebuyers at the start of the spring buying season are generally finding higher prices and fewer properties available.

Last month’s decline largely came from a 17.6 percent drop-off in new homes sold in the West. New-home sales fell in the Midwest but climbed in the Northeast and South.

The median sales price of a new home climbed nearly 10 percent from a year ago to $326,800.